Remote vital sign monitoring company Current Health (formerly snap40) has completed an $11.5 million Series A round of financing headed by MMC Ventures, the Edinburgh, London and San Francisco-based company announced this morning. Legal & General played a major role in the raise as the heaviest backer and Current's first corporate investor, with additional funds coming from Par Equity and Scotting Investment Bank. The primary device of Current's monitoring platform is an FDA-cleared upper-arm wearable that tracks skin temperature, pulse rate, oxygen saturation, movement and other metrics. Patients using the platform receive the tracker alongside a tablet that provides a Q&A chatbot, educational content, medication reminders and support for video or text conversations with a clinician. These clinicians, meanwhile, can follow their patients' vitals through a provider-facing interface and intervene when necessary.
NEW YORK – Fear swept back through the stock market on Thursday as worries about the viral outbreak in China knocked the S&P 500 off its record high and had it on pace for its worst day this month. Stocks had started the day off higher following another round of stronger-than-expected reports on the U.S. economy, but the market slumped suddenly in the late morning. The S&P 500 was down as much as 1.3 percent at one point, Treasury yields fell and the price of gold rose, before the moves moderated in the afternoon. Market watchers said they didn't see one clear trigger for the movements, which reminded them of the market's sudden shifts during the height of the U.S.-China trade war, when stocks would swing sharply following tweets from President Donald Trump. "You have this push and pull between good U.S. economic data and coronavirus fears," said Brent Schutte, chief investment strategist at Northwestern Mutual.
Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda pledged Monday that the Bank of Japan will make every effort to ensure stability in financial markets roiled by the coronavirus outbreak. Issuing an emergency statement, Kuroda said the central bank "will closely monitor future developments, and will strive to provide ample liquidity and ensure stability in financial markets through appropriate market operations and asset purchases." The move comes amid expectations that the world's major central banks will prepare a joint assault on the recent volatility in stock and other markets, with the U.S. Federal Reserve issuing a similar statement last week signaling its willingness to cut interest rates to support the economy. Taking their lead from Wall Street, Tokyo stocks plunged last week. The benchmark Nikkei 225 average lost more than 2,200 points, its biggest weekly fall since October 2008, around the time of the global financial crisis.
The Bank of Japan said Monday it will hold a one-day policy meeting from noon following an emergency U.S. rate cut, moving forward what was originally scheduled to be a two-day gathering starting Wednesday amid growing concern over the coronavirus epidemic's economic impact. The BOJ's meeting follows the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision Sunday to cut its target range for the federal funds rate by 1.00 percentage point to 0.00 percent to 0.25 percent, the lowest level since late 2015. At the meeting later in the day, the BOJ Policy Board is expected to discuss further monetary easing steps such as cutting interest rates further into negative territory and an increase in asset purchases. Six central banks, including the BOJ, the Fed and the European Central Bank, also said they will take coordinated action to enhance the provision of U.S. dollar liquidity. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday the leaders of the Group of Seven industrialized counties will hold an emergency video conference from 11 p.m. Japan time to discuss their response to the global spread of the coronavirus.
LOS ANGELES – With ObamaCare broken and the GOP effort to replace it uncertain, California and a handful of other liberal states are proposing to adopt a European-style, single-payer health care system where residents pay the state and the state provides care – regardless of income, occupation, or health status. "If you look at the financing of a single-payer system, what you'll find is it saves money if it's done right," says supporter Jamie Court of Consumer Watchdog. "That's why every other country in the world pays two-thirds less. It gets rid of the insurance companies." Lawmakers in New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Massachusetts proposed single-payer bills this year.